Peace through Strength
Peace through Strength
Our military men and women deserve nothing but our respect and admiration, and our foreign policy should respect, value, and honor their contributions. Our brave men and women are far too precious to sacrifice in conflicts often fought by two opposing sides equally driven by greed and lust for power, or some age old religious war equally disinterested in true liberty and freedom. It is they, not politicians, who bear the brunt and the cost of war. We have not declared an official war for decades and have used our military more like an international police force than the world’s premier armed forces.
When President George W. Bush ran for office in the 2000 election he had promised not to engage in nation building abroad. The events of 9/11 changed forever our assumptions about the world and forced us to come to grips with a new and terrible enemy. The World Trade Center had been attacked before, but never brought down by commercial airliners hijacked by Islamist radicals waging war in the name of their god.
Our military should only be deployed in response to specific threats. Entering Afghanistan to rout the Taliban enjoyed popular support in the wake of 9/11’s outrageous mass murder, but the decision to go into Iraq was much more controversial. Time will tell if Bush’s policy in Iraq was worth the investment in blood and treasure, but there can be no doubt our foreign policy needs a serious change. While Afghanistan was justified at the outset, it is now increasingly clear that we are fighting with both hands tied behind our back. Our Rules of Engagement are ridiculous and the reluctance to admit we’re doing little more than babysitting a nation with neither the history nor inclination to a non-Islamist democracy is costing us more every day. Unlike Iraq, which had democracy in living memory despite the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan has never been democratic – it has always been a tribal state more suited to the time of Feudalism than the time of Constitutional Republicanism. The mission in Iraq is over and our original task in Afghanistan is completed, it is time to bring our military home.
We need to go back to our Constitutional principles. When we go to war, we say we are going to war. We get congressional approval for that war, and ensure the use of the words “Congressional Approval” denote a military effort so extreme and determined that it strikes fear in the heart of our target. An example would be President HW Bush’s use of our military in Desert Storm, a response to Saddam Hussein’s attack on Kuwait, a sovereign nation and ally of the United States. Desert Storm was executed with extreme efficiency and had an exit strategy and minimal danger to our troops.
We are the United States. We are compelled to assist and support our allies such as Israel and those who are truly seeking liberty lest we forget a debt we incurred 236 years ago when we fought for our own liberty. If other nations had not supplied us with money, weapons, and some military assistance we might all be singing God Save the Queen instead of the Star Spangled Banner. There would be no debate over Obamacare, the Second Amendment, or religious freedom to mention just a few, because we would have no guns, socialized medicine, and tithe to the Church of England. Thankfully, Britain is now one of our strongest allies. Our nation does not wage war to destroy, but rather to liberate. America has been the beacon for freedom for peoples around the world who have been oppressed by Nazism, Communism, and tyranny of all sorts, as the world’s sole superpower we do have a special charter to prevent nuclear proliferation and global instability, but we should not be the world’s police force.